Tank sender & possible fuel problem - Ford Mustang Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-20-2019 Thread Starter
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Tank sender & possible fuel problem

It had been awhile since I started my '66, and the gas level had gotten so low that I didn't want to deal with trying to run it with the old gas in the tank. So I decided to just dilute it and put at least 10 gallons in it. It actually ran OK for a few minutes, but died and I couldn't get it started. I have a pressure gauge on the fuel line at the carb; it didn't move when I cranked the engine. So I figured the filter between the tank and the electric pump was plugged, even though I have an SS tank, so no rusting issues. I pulled the line from the tank off the filter and drained a bit of gas into a jar, shown in the photo. More about that in a bit.

I only got a small stream of fuel out the tube when I did that, so I wondered if the screen on the pickup was plugged in the tank. I drained the tank and pulled the sender. The screen was clean, but I noticed that it slid back and forth on the pickup tube. It could slide down far enough so that the end hit the end of the screen, blocking the pickup. The end around the tube looked like there might have been some kind of clamp around it at one point, so I put a spring tubing clamp on it to keep it from moving and put the sender back in the tank. I'm reworking the tubing to the tank, so I haven't been able to see if it fixed the problem.

Back to the test sample. I also poured a little from a new can of the same gas I put in the Mustang into another jar. You shouldn't have any trouble telling which is which in the photo. At the time I figured the gas in the tank was bad, but I noticed yesterday that the "new" gas had started to turn yellow. I then remembered that ethanol absorbs (perhaps not the right word) water, so maybe 10% ethanol gas turns yellow when exposed to air just like brake fluid does. I may just put the old gas back in the tank. I may filter it first, although I didn't see any evidence of sediment.

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-20-2019
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Hi Charles,
When you say you diluted the fuel, what do you mean?

The filter is a push on tight fit, if you need a clamp to secure the old one, then it might be time for a new filter.

Did you check the filter at the carby?


15/5/1964 260 Manual Coupe.
23/3/1965 289 Manual Fastback.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-21-2019 Thread Starter
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Sorry; I filled the tank with fresh fuel. That's when I realized gas is normally clear, not yellow like was coming out of the tank.

I suspected the screen filter might have been a press-on fit. Since I've already put the sender back in, I'm just going to leave it for now.

Gas ran very slowly out of the hose coming from the tank when I pulled it loose from the filter at the tank that is between the tank and the electric pump at the tank. That's what made me realize something was wrong inside the tank. I'm replacing the filter at the pump just in case. I also have one under the hood where the line comes through the fender, and another one on the carb.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-21-2019
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Aghh OK, that makes sense now.
The gas was running out of the tank slowly because it was vacuumed, if you had opened the gas cap I bet the gas would have come out like it was under pressure.

Yes I think most people have the filter on the line that leads into the carb.

15/5/1964 260 Manual Coupe.
23/3/1965 289 Manual Fastback.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-22-2019
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Reeves View Post
It had been awhile since I started my '66...
How long is a while? Fuel in my various car tanks may be months, or occasionally even a year old and I have never had a problem. And that is without any 'stabilizer' which I never buy or use.

I am not sure you had a real problem. There is no particular color that gas must be today. The color difference you see may just be from two different refineries? At one time gasoline had to be died red to indicate it contained lead but that rule went away long ago along with the lead. Really old (multiple years) gasoline has always turned dark long before ethanol became a curse word so I don't think there is any reason to think it wouldn't still do the same.

On a really humid day I sometimes see water collecting in E10 that is in an open pan. No particular color change except that with enough water the mixture turns a whitish color on the surface. Even though a '66 tank is vented the fuel inside creates a slight pressure that mostly keeps outside air out of the tank limiting the amount of potential water that might contact the fuel. The original reason for sealing the tanks was to prevent those vapors from seeping out of the tank.

I also agree that the slow flow may have been because the cap was on the filler neck.

Is your sender a repro? I have seen the inlet strainer on those be fairly lame compared to an original.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-22-2019
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If I a while meant over a year, the gas may have started to varnish. I've seen fuel that had been in tanks for many years turn to a gel like substance, the engine would run fine until you turn it off. Once it cools down the valves would be glued in place. In mixing the old with the new you might get some discoloration.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-23-2019 Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Is your sender a repro? I have seen the inlet strainer on those be fairly lame compared to an original.
Yes; it came with the SS tank. I've realized from reading threads on this forum that I should have kept the old one that came with the car when I bought it in '66.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-23-2019
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Quote:
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Aghh OK, that makes sense now.
The gas was running out of the tank slowly because it was vacuumed, if you had opened the gas cap I bet the gas would have come out like it was under pressure.

Yes I think most people have the filter on the line that leads into the carb.
64-69 mustangs do not have a sealed tank and cap. the first sealed systems was 1970. so gas should drain at a decent clip regardless of cap on or cap off.

I'D RATHER GO SLOW THAN NOT GO AT ALL
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-23-2019
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baylensmanfl View Post
64-69 mustangs do not have a sealed tank and cap. the first sealed systems was 1970. so gas should drain at a decent clip regardless of cap on or cap off.
Not either of mine, they have aftermarket caps.
I have noticed that before I have removed the senders on both cars, with the gas draining from the sender (cause the drain plug was soooo tight) I still have had to open the filler cap to let the flow increase significantly.

15/5/1964 260 Manual Coupe.
23/3/1965 289 Manual Fastback.
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